Wiesenthal Centre Horrified at Book by UN Special Rapporteur

December 6, 2023

Paris and Rome - Wiesenthal Centre is horrified at the title chosen by Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), for her new book:... "J'Accuse", subtitled "the 7 October Attack, Hamas, Terrorism, Israel, Apartheid in Palestine and the War".
Now it is only in Italian, but is meant to become a bestseller for the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and antisemitic camp worldwide. Albanese has repeatedly spoken, in the name of the UN, against Israel. On Amazon Italy, her claim is "apartheid and a neocolonial occupation with thousands of victims is indisputable", feeding the narrative of genocidal terrorism under the banner of "Israel had it coming!"
Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that "J'Accuse!" was the title of an open letter by novelist Emile Zola, accusing the French Government of antisemitism against Jewish Captain Alfred Dreyfus, sentenced for treason, based on fabricated charges. From 1898, "J'Accuse" had been a "trademark precedent" to denounce antisemitism.

"J'Accuse", the book by Francesca Albanese and the open letter by Emile Zola
To steal elements of the "Jewish narrative" is not new. Nevertheless, to use it for a book that is a one-sided prosecution of the Jewish State is an exercise of hate, already seen in her most recent "report" to the UN Human Rights Council (July 2023). see: 53rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council: Wiesenthal Centre Comments on Item 7
In fact, on that occasion, Samuels stated: "though claiming to be 'impartial', Albanese had blatantly ignored human rights violations of 'Palestine' - in regards to women’s rights, LGBT rights, religious minorities, freedom of speech, press or assembly, unlawful detention, summary trials and executions, extrajudicial killings, incitement of children to 'martyrdom', terrorist attacks or bombing of civilians, among others - de facto ignoring Palestinian intransigence, legitimizing terrorism, and justifying hate."
At the Canberra Journalists Club last week, Albanese shockingly stated that Hamas was NOT to blame for the conflict in Gaza... and "the terror attacks were a 'natural' response..." She added that "the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory was 'a crime against humanity' and was 'apartheid by default' (sic!)."
The UN Special Rapporteur continued with her one-sided accusations: "Israel's emphatic military reaction was based on a 'non-existent right to self-defence'."
The fact that her trip to Australia was paid by a string of Palestinian advocacy groups (including Free Palestine Melbourne and Australia Palestine Advocacy Network...), is a clear conflict of interest!
The Wiesenthal Centre considers that, regardless of the text's content, to use "J'Accuse" for the title of her book, appears to be a deliberate misappropriation of Jewish heritage and narrative.
We call on the United Nations to dismiss Francesca Albanese, assess the damage that she has caused, including her implicit incitement to hatred and violence, and investigate her activity - including this book, published using the prestigious title of "United Nations Special Rapporteur" - that appears in clear violation of UN rules, UNHRC Procedures (art. 3 of the Code of Conduct) and basic professional ethics.

For further information contact Dr. Shimon Samuels at csweurope@gmail.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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